$47M in New OJP Grants to Serve Child & Youth Victims of Opioid Crisis

Grandparents across the United States are stepping up to care for children of heroin and the opioid crisis. (Courtesy of YouTube)
Grandparents across the United States are stepping up to care for children of heroin and the opioid crisis. (Courtesy of YouTube)

The Office of Justice Programs has released grant solicitations making $47 million available to help children and youth affected by the nation’s opioid crisis.

Alan Hanson
Alan Hanson, OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

The programs are intended to address the troubling increase in foster care placements, hospital visits and justice system entanglement attributable to the crisis.

“This epidemic has exacted a heavy toll on families and communities across America, and no group has paid a heavier price than our young people,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson.

“We are hopeful that our investment in these programs will provide a lifeline for children and youth who, through no fault of their own, have been cast adrift and left without the resources to weather the crisis.”

(In Utah, a recent study of umbilical cords showed that nearly five percent of babies born in the state are born addicted to opioids at birth. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Oct 1, 2017)

OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are seeking applications for the grants, which will fund direct services for child victims of the epidemic and intervention opportunities for young people whose encounters with opioids bring them to the threshold of the juvenile justice system.

The OVC grants will enable organizations to develop plans at the local or jurisdictional level, as well as nationally, to equip and support communities to combat the crisis and provide needed services for victims.

Darlene Hutchinson, OVC director

Funds can be used to support school-based programs, foster care or child welfare programs, counseling and assistance programs, child advocacy programs, court-appointed special advocates, mentoring and tutoring programs, hospital- and medical-based programs, and faith-based programs.

“Infants, children and youth neglected by addicted parents or victimized in their communities, are truly the most vulnerable in the opioid crisis—and, sadly, they are among the least served,” said Darlene Hutchinson, OVC director.

Grant funds can be used either to enhance existing efforts or to create entirely new programs to meet victim-specific needs.

Applications are due by July 10, 2018.

To learn more and apply, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xQGvg.

OVC expects to award multiple grants averaging $700,000, up to a total of $26 million over a 36-month performance period, beginning Oct. 1, 2018.

Those interested may register to attend a pre-application webinar from 1 to 2 p.m. on June 6. The webinar will review requirements and conduct a question-and-answer session.

To register for this webinar, visit: http://ow.ly/hH4E30kkkm2.

Additionally, OJJDP is sponsoring a grant opportunity to help states, local governments and tribal jurisdictions develop and implement programs for children, at-risk juveniles and families who have been affected by the nation’s opioid crisis.

Caren Harp, OJJDP Administrator
Caren Harp, OJJDP Administrator

“Children and youth are being affected by opioid abuse—either their own or that of a parent or caregiver—at alarming rates,” said OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp.

“The opioid crisis is driving our youth into foster care, increasing their involvement in the juvenile justice system and threatening community safety.”

“These grants will help identify intervention opportunities and develop data-driven, coordinated responses.”

(It is estimated that due in part to the opioid catastrophe, at least 2.5 million children nationwide are being raised by grandparents or other relatives due to addicted parents. But some have no relatives who will take them in, and go directly to foster care. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on Aug 7, 2017)

Eligible sites will receive up to $6 million to develop a response to the opioid crisis and provide services to improve public safety.

In addition, OJJDP will award just over $1 million to a technical assistance provider to help grantees collect data that will address specific challenges resulting from the opioid epidemic.

Applications are due July 2, 2018. To learn more and apply, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xQGvG.

OJJDP also has a funding opportunity open for youth mentoring programs with a focus on opioid abuse.

Under this solicitation, $14 million is targeted to helping youth impacted by opioids through prevention, treatment and support services.

Applications are due June 28, 2018. To learn more and apply, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xQGvA.